Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

best of both worlds. madison james for a glamorous country wedding at aldby park – lindsey and andy

February 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Glam Country Wedding at Alby Park (c) Chris Milner Photography (31)

Happy Valentine’s Day Brides up North! Did you catch our weekend wish list?

It’s time to get all romantic on these pretty pages as today’s seriously sophisticated couple pulled out all the stops for their wedding in glorious Yorkshire. After the groom’s idyllic proposal in Champagne, Lindsey wore Madison James, Andy wore his RAF Number Ones, and beautiful blooms, jaw-dropping home bakes and fizz (Champagne, obviously) were the order of the day.

This outdoor-loving pair created a striking fusion of styles – Lindsey’s deep-cut beaded dress and the colour scheme’s copper accents feel very city chic, but their stunning sailcloth Sperry marquee and those hayfield tandem photographs are pure countryside class.

The best of both worlds – and simply gorgeous to boot.

With images by Chris Milner and video by Brides Up North Sponsor Silver Sixpence Films.

Andy and Lindsey from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

lindsey says: We got engaged in the Champagne region of France in August 2015. Andy booked us first class Eurostar tickets for a weekend in Paris and Champagne. On the day we got engaged, he had hired a tandem bike (we both like cycling and had cycled from London to Paris earlier in the year together). We cycled from vineyard to vineyard and sampled lots of champagne. It rained a little in the morning so we got wet on the bike but at the last Champagne House the clouds parted and the sun came out beautifully. At around 3pm we got back on the tandem for the last time to cycle back. We’d only been cycling for about ten minutes down a beautiful quiet country lane when we got to a hill. Having had a good few glasses of bubbly in us, Andy asked if we could ‘take five’ at the top and enjoy the view down the valley. And that’s where he took off his helmet (and I thankfully did the same!) and he dropped down on one knee and popped the question!

We spent the rest of the evening drinking champagne (obviously!) and got planning what our dream wedding could look like….

A Glam Country Wedding at Alby Park (c) Chris Milner Photography (28)

We got married on 30th July 2016. We wanted a day in the summer so that (weather permitting) we could celebrate in the sun in my beautiful home county of Yorkshire. I grew up on a farm and we both love the countryside so we wanted to be able to celebrate in with the trees and flowers in full bloom and Yorkshire looking glorious.

We got married at St Helen and the Holy Cross Church in Sheriff Hutton, followed by a Sperry (white marquee by Papakata) reception at Aldby Park in Buttercrambe. We fell in love with the venue and it ticked every box for us – a combination of a stunning stately home surrounded by acres and acres of open fields and countryside as far as the eye can see. A very country style look with the glamour of an incredibly handsome period property. The owners allowed us to have our marquee on their beautiful garden at the rear of the house so that we also had a view down the steep bank to the River Derwent. Perfect! The owners also allowed us to have a camping area so as many of our friends as we wanted were able to camp at the venue for free which was really helpful. We hired a handful of deck chairs and shepherds’ crooks (from Add Vintage) to create a summer’s evening chillout area on the lawn.

A Glam Country Wedding at Alby Park (c) Chris Milner Photography (42)

A Glam Country Wedding at Alby Park (c) Chris Milner Photography (45)

The Sperry tent is stunningly elegant. It is made out of sailcloth and has incredible roof contours. We both loved how striking it is and different to any normal marquee we’d seen. Also, Andy has sailed extensively (his parents have a boat on the South coast still) so having a tent made out of sail cloth seemed very apt.

We had a bit of a bike theme (referencing back to the big fat engagement) so we made a bicycle wheel chandelier, sprayed it bronze and suspended it above the dancefloor. We also had a tandem on the day and cycled through the fields at dusk (I just about mastered the art of hitching up a wedding dress!)

Our colours were pale blue and copper. We wanted some blue in the theme as Andy’s RAF uniform is blue. So we went with a pale shade throughout with some copper touches to complement and also to bring some sparkle to the colour theme.

A Glam Country Wedding at Alby Park (c) Chris Milner Photography (20)

I wore a fitted beaded gown from Madison James. It had straps and a deep cut-out back. I actually found it at a wedding fair in Manchester. Andy agreed to attend one fair and accidentally (honestly!) I picked one of the biggest in the UK. Typically, I found the dress on a mannequin while we were walking round so I waited until we were well past it before asking Andy if he wouldn’t mind finding a quiet spot in a café at the other side of the show and having a coffee on his own while I checked something out! About 45 minutes later I returned to poor Andy, knowing that I had probably found the dress, but hadn’t felt brave enough to hand over the credit card without having had a second opinion.

The same show returned in the October so I went back with my mum and one of my bridesmaids (Natalie, who had flown over from Amsterdam where she lives) so I could try the dress again. I safely assumed that mum and Natalie’s tears were a good sign so half-an-hour later (after they’d wrestled the dress off me!) we were sitting drinking more champagne celebrating that I’d found my dream dress.

A Glam Country Wedding at Alby Park (c) Chris Milner Photography (34)

Andy is an Officer in the RAF so he wore his Number Ones to get married in. He changed into a navy suit (matching the bestman and ushers) just after our drinks reception and before sitting down for dinner. Andy’s wedding ring was made out of an engine turbine from a Concorde airplane. His dad was a flight engineer on Concorde and flew for British Airways for 20 years until retirement. We trawled the country trying to find a working jewellers who could work with a titanium piece of engine and eventually found one in Birmingham. They etched a drawing of Concorde into the inside of the ring alongside our initials and our wedding date.

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capturing the action: love two film

December 15th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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Whether you’re just starting out on your wedding planning journey or the big day is now just a matter of months away, we highly recommend considering the services of a videographer to capture all the action of your special day, so that you can look back on it time and time again.

As such, today on the blog we’re catching up with expert in the field and Brides Up North Sponsor, Bruce Marshall of Love Two Film.

Based in Cheshire, but happy to travel, Bruce is a pro in telling the story of a wedding day with quality, discretion and creativity, and is always looking out for those special moments. His style is reportage in that he documents a wedding in a candid and unobtrusive way – the result is fabulous footage that reflects the true energy and emotions of the day. Just take a look at his work!

And if you do like what you see, Bruce is offering a 10% discount to couples that find him through Brides Up North – so be sure to mention this post when getting in touch.

Now let’s find out some more about Love Two Film. Ready. Set. Action!

Lauren & Daniel_Feature Highlights from Love Two Film on Vimeo.

How did you get into wedding videography?

bruce says: Originally, as a film school graduate I was asked by friends if I’d film their wedding, “Yes, of course” I’d say. I quickly realised what hard work wedding videography was and pursued my career as a video editor, working on classic shows, such as Bob the Builder and Pingu, never imagining that a few years later, filming weddings would be a full-time job. Working as a professional editor for a broadcast studio on an internationally successful brand has served me well as I head up Love Two Film. Story had always been at the heart of what I have done and I bring that love and understanding of how to tell a good story to my videography.

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What attracted you to wedding videography specifically?

Weddings days are dynamic, and by that, I mean there is lots going on. From the moment I switch on my camera I am looking for shots, compositions, interesting light, details and thinking how I can best capture a movement or anticipate an action. I have realised as a creative person that a wedding day gives me the perfect scenario to capture something beautiful; be that a breath-taking landscape filmed as the sun sets, or two people so completely in love they’ve forgotten I am there.

I prefer to film in a reportage style so I love it when I can just blend in with the guests and shoot the candid moments. I look to capture that something special that weddings always deliver.

Rachel & Ryan_Long Feature from Love Two Film on Vimeo.

What is it that you love most about your job?

I’m guessing it’s a cliché if I say I love it all, but in the main I do love my job. I thrive on new experiences on planning the next shoot, prepping gear, researching venues and meeting new couples. I have found one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is making the time to meet my clients, talk to them over a drink and just get to know them a little bit. For me, and hopefully them, I just become another friendly face on their wedding day wishing them well and yes, waving a camera around.

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Why do you think having a wedding filmed is such an important element of the day?

I always think of two friends when I answer questions like this, here are the words of my friend Beth who didn’t get her wedding filmed:

“I love looking at my wedding photo album, but when I saw my brother’s wedding video, my heart sank a little – I wish I had our day captured, to watch over and over! And to cherish those moments forever. It’s the most beautiful way to remember the most important day.”

Beth said it much better and more simply than I would have and she gets across that sense of loss almost, a moment missed.

And then here are the words of my friend Lauren, who got me started on this wedding video adventure:

“We were so impressed with our wedding video from Love Two Film, it captured the day so perfectly and is the thing we look at the most (even more than our wedding photos actually!) Love Two Film were not only unobtrusive and professional, but they went the extra mile to capture details we love to look at time and time again. Definitely an investment we are so glad we made!”

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summer bloom. an elegant country wedding at rookery hall – charlotte & tom

November 21st, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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This afternoon on the blog, we join couple Charlotte and Tom as they tie the knot in the captivating surroundings of Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa – an exquisite country house that dates back to the 1800’s.

The epitome of country chic, their big day brings together beautiful blooms, gorgeous ice creams and drinks on the outdoor terrace and dreamy photographs amongst the splendor of the venue’s stunning gardens and fountains.

With images by Mr Sleeve.

Charlotte and Toms Wedding Highlights from Love Gets Sweeter on Vimeo.

charlotte says: We got engaged on 21st July 2012 in Bruges, Belgium. Tom had flown out to Belgium for work and I joined him to make a holiday of it. After some Dutch courage (or just a casual drink from my perspective), Tom suggested a walk around the Lac D’Amour at sunset. After waiting what seemed like an age for a Chinese tourist group to leave the picturesque bridge, Tom got down on one knee and popped the question.

We got married on 28th August 2015. We chose this date to make the most of the Bank Holiday weekend and so that friends and family travelling long distances could make the journey more easily and enjoy the weekend more.

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We tied the knot at Rookery Hall in Nantwich, Cheshire. When we visited the venue, we immediately fell in love with its light airy rooms, grounds and the overall feel of the place.

We didn’t have a wedding theme, as such. Instead, we decided on summer tones with the groomsmen and bridesmaids wearing light shades of blue. We had brightly coloured flowers, with lots of wildflowers and herbs.

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Tom and our groomsmen wore slate blue suits from Next, and the bridesmaids wore a bluey-green coloured dress. We really struggled to decide on a colour; we didn’t want anything too dark or rich as we hoped for a lovely sunny day. We both liked blue tones though, and we thought that these shades would also flatter our entourage!

I wore the Cielo gown by Miquel Suay in ivory. After lots of online window shopping and a couple of visits to wedding boutiques to try on dresses of all shapes, this dress ticked all the boxes with a lace bodice and a soft, romantic feel.

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Our photographer was Mr Sleeve (Steve Longbottom). He was fantastic and captured some amazing shots; we loved his style of candid, journalistic photography.

We also had Charlene of Love Gets Sweeter as our videographer. Charlene was great too – she blended into the background and even helped out with an emergency safety pin and we have a lovely video to help remember our special day.

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Our flowers were supplied by Heather at Living Colour Flowers in Stockton Heath, Warrington. Heather was fantastic at understanding the overall aesthetic we were after, other florists seemed unable to offer any suggestions when we said we had no specific flowers in mind. The bouquet had bright Vuvuzela roses, purple veronica, blue thistle, yellow craspedia, bay, thyme, rosemary, succulents, and was wrapped in blue leather as a ‘something blue’. The bridesmaids had similar bouquets, and the boys had buttonholes of tiny succulents with a small flower, wrapped in twine.

The flowers for our reception were also provided by Living Colour, with an undone feel, lots of bright colours, with arrangements in little jam jars and scientific glassware (as we both have microbiology PhDs) and on wooden plinths. As for the room décor – Eventures in Manchester provided the chairs and room dressing.continue reading

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a lifetime of happy memories: silver sixpence films (plus a discount for our readers!)

July 25th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

JAMES_RACHEL_HLT_v05.Sub.32

This afternoon on the blog we’re catching up with our hugely talented Sponsor Silver Sixpence Films, to remind our readers that a videographer is a supplier that should not be overlooked.

So many times we’ve experienced brides that we’ve featured on the blog saying that their only wedding regret is that they didn’t get the day filmed. We don’t want you to have the same regrets and so professional videographers Penny and Ed of Silver Sixpence Films, are taking over the blogging reins today to explain what’s in it for you, and why it’s such a huge passion of theirs.

Better still, Penny and Ed are running a Winter Promotion for any November to March weddings with discounts on all our packages. So if you like what you see (and trust us, you will!) just quote WINTERBUN when enquiring and they’ll give you full details!

Now on with the show, 3-2-1, action…

Rich and Will from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

Can you give us a little background on Silver Sixpence Films?

penny says: We set up Silver Sixpence Films in 2013 when Ed and I decided to have a change of career following a long career working in the film industry in London. Ed was working as a visual effects editor and I as a director’s assistant. Between us we had racked up some pretty impressive film credits including three Harry Potter films, Skyfall, Casino Royal, Prince of Persia, Edge of Tomorrow – the list goes on!

Both Ed and I have always loved filming and producing our own projects and whenever possible Ed was making his own short films and had been regularly asked to film at weddings for friends and family, which he loved doing. We found that there was a lot of freedom and creativity in wedding videography, but most of all we loved the people, and telling their stories. After the birth of our daughter we realized that we enjoyed our time spent making wedding films and helping people capture their day more than we were enjoying our feature film work and so we set up Silver Sixpence Films. Amazingly we booked 15 weddings in our first year and it has just snowballed from there! At the time we were living in Kent and our daughter was 18 months so the move back to East Yorkshire (my home town) seemed risky and a big change, but we went for it and have never looked back.

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Can you give us a brief overview of the services that you offer to wedding couples?

We pride ourselves in having our own unique style of filming and find that people book us because of this. We work really closely with our clients and are available to them as much as they like in the run up to the wedding. We have a number of packages available for all budgets, but will often create bespoke packages, as every wedding is different and we like to offer the opportunity to fit in with a client’s specific needs. It is important to us that we don’t interfere with the wedding day and so we try and be as unobtrusive as possible when filming. In fact, people often tell us that they didn’t realize anyone was making a video when they see our finished film.

Pete and Hannah from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

What sets you apart from other videographers?

We offer a really personal service to our clients, (we don’t have a corporate bone in our bodies!) From start to finish everything is bespoke; from the filming packages we create, to the coffee chats and (often hilarious) Skype calls. Our packaging is beautifully handmade; lovingly hand stamped with hand written notes inside. We often become good friends with our clients and their families because we are available to them and will do anything to help them out and make sure, not just their wedding film, but their whole wedding runs smoothly and is a success. The majority of our business now comes through referrals from past clients, which we love. On top of that we bring with us a considerable amount of experience from feature films, enabling us to craft really cinematic films using tricks in the trade that we have learnt from real Hollywood legends. Working on high profile feature films with famous actors like (name drop alert!) Tom Cruise, Emma Watson and Daniel Craig, has given us very high standards, which means we work extra hard to produce a fantastic finished product.

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reel love. 2 little ducks wedding videography

October 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime

2 Little Ducks

This afternoon I am proud to introduce one super talented couple (and the cutest newlyweds like, ever), Becki and James of 2 little ducksWedding Videography.  They’re here to show off some of their short films, tell you why you should book a videographer for their big day (full disclosure: I didn’t think we needed a wedding video but now fully regret not having someone to capture our day on film), why it should be them and to offer Brides Up North readers a sneaky little discount while they’re at it!

Just quotes BridesUpNorth10 when you book to receive a 10% discount on all of their packages.

How did you get into wedding videography? 

In 2006 James bought a HD video-camera in Japan to shoot a little ninja film and when he returned he used it to film his sister’s wedding. Many films done as favours followed with lots of comments about how good the films were. This new love affair with filming resulted in James returning to University to complete his degree in Media, Technology and Production. It was at this time that we met, sharing a passion for film and photography we soon became a strong team and I quickly became James’ camera assistant and booking agent! 2 Little Ducks Wedding Videography was the result.

Why should a couple have a wedding video

Lots of reasons! Firstly, the day will go by so quickly, and you can’t possibly be everywhere at once. You are going to miss parts of your day unless a videographer is there to capture it. Secondly, a photographer will capture most of the sights but none of the sounds of your day. A wedding video allows you to replay your vows, the speeches, the cheers as you enter the room and the laughter of you, your friends and your family. Also a wedding video is a time capsule, you can pass it on to your children and grandchildren and show them all the family members who they sadly may not have been able to meet.

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding videographer?

Everyone is at their best on a wedding day. Everyone looks fabulous, has come together in a celebration of love, togetherness and hope for the future and this makes them happy smiley people (the food, drink and dancing helps with that too!). The best thing about being a wedding videographer is capturing the little moments which the bride and groom have missed and knowing that you will put that in the video and they will love it! It is a privilege to be part of the most special day of people’s lives.

How do you get couples to relax on the day?

Mostly that is about the preparation time beforehand, lots of people are nervous around cameras so meeting us beforehand reassures them that they are not going to have the camera up close in their face, that we are discreet and relaxed whilst being completely professional. They are relaxed about us on the day as they know that we will do a great job! In our experience though all the nerves come before the big day. Once the wedding day begins most couples just go with it and enjoy it, many couples tell us that they barely noticed us there as they are just concentrating on enjoying their day, guests, however, do have to be encouraged not to “duck” underneath the camera as this looks worse on film than if they just walked in front!

Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

Last year we filmed a lovely couple Terry and Maureen, they had been together for over 30 years but had never got around to tying the knot, sadly Maureen had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and this was the impetus for them to finally have their special day. We were filming their first dance, Terry with his arms tight around Maureen and captured their eldest son, looking on and wiping a tear from his eye. Even thinking about it now makes me emotional. Our experience with Terry and Maureen has led us to our support of a fantastic charity “Gift of a Wedding” which asks for donations from wedding suppliers to ensure that other couples who don’t have long together are able to have a perfect day.

What sets you apart from other wedding videographers?

2 Little Ducks are about capturing your day not about getting you to perform, we have seen loads of wedding videos which we know as professionals must have taken ages to set up, cutting into the couple’s enjoyment of the day. We tell couples we will film whatever you want us to film but try and just relax and enjoy your day without feeling you have to create something “different”, in years to come this will look dated.

The other thing that sets us apart is we actually have video cameras! Many videographers actually use DSLR cameras with a record button, the quality is nowhere near the video cameras we have and reliability can often be an issue leading to important parts of your wedding being missed. We promise every couple a highlight reel of their day within 2-3 weeks whilst we continue to edit the full video. This gives you reassurance that we did capture your wedding and also allows you to replay the day for yourselves, your friends and family and for others who could not be there on the day.

We have an aerial camera which can capture footage from high in the air, this is great for outdoor weddings or those at stately homes / country houses where you want to capture full scale and grandeur of the location. We recently used this to film a firework display, the results are stunning, though we were a little scared that the camera be blown out of the sky!

What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

They can expect that we will be there early, ready to go, that we will be smart, professional and polite, we will work well with other suppliers and often meet or talk to for example the photographer beforehand to ensure a smooth running day. We will capture everything you want capturing but won’t get in your way.

Tell us about some your most recent collaborations and styled shoots with other industry professionals?

We recently collaborated with Minihaha Garande of Brachetto Weddings on a styled shoot in Skipton. This was our first experience of a styled shoot and it was great fun as well as an opportunity to meet some fabulous local wedding suppliers, Medici Macarons, Photography by Kathryn, Minnie Bee’s Floral Design and Cakes for Show. We have also just completed a promotional video for Peak Tipis who have a great team of people behind an amazing product. Those Tipi’s are huge, awe-inspiring and magical inside!

What projects do you have coming up ?

We have such exciting weddings booked for this season, I am looking forward to a Yurt wedding at Bolton Abbey, a Bollywood dancing vs Ceilidh dance off in North Yorkshire, a big band at Victoria Hall and lots of fun and garden games at Sutton Park. Everyone has such different and fun ideas for their wedding!

You are newly-weds yourselves – tell us about your own big day?

We got married in August last year at St Stephens Church in Skipton and had our reception at The Priests House in Barden Tower. We wanted our wedding to be intimate and only had 40 close friends and family members there with a few more on the evening, it was a very relaxed and fun day, I laughed so much my face hurt! We asked two friends of ours who are both trained camera operators to help in capturing the day though of course James could not stop himself setting up shots and doing some of the filming once we were at the reception. He edited a beautiful highlight reel for us which I can’t stop showing people!

What is included in your package? 

We have three main “packages” though we are happy to work with couples to create something bespoke. Our Silver package is for couples who just want to have the ceremony capturing so we would cover the arrival of bride and groom, ceremony and register signing then leaving the ceremony, this package costs £400 and offers couples the opportunity to have a record of the day without breaking the bank! Our Gold package is priced at £600 and will cover everything from the silver package plus the arrival at reception (if in a different location) and the wedding breakfast, though not close ups of people eating! Also the speeches and the cutting of the cake. Some couples feel that they after this point they just want to let their hair down, get a few drinks and don’t necessarily want what happens afterwards recording on film so we can leave before it gets messy! Our Platinum package basically ensures that we are there all day and for as long you want us into the night. It will cover everything from the 2 previous packages but also the first dance evening reception and entertainment and we include bridal prep filming in this if the bride wants it. Our cameras are excellent at filming in low light and will easily be able to record at night including any evening entertainment such as fireworks.

All our packages include the 3 minute highlight film. There are also a range of extras such a photo slideshow on the DVD using photos supplied by the bride and groom or our screen-grabs from the day. We can make a very funky graphic novel using screenshots too, a funky alternative to your traditional framed wedding photo.

We are also happy to film proposals, engagement parties, hen and stag parties and a lovely idea we think is to record “secret” video messages from the bride to groom and vice versa that can be watched on the morning of the wedding as the couple get ready. James wrote me a lovely letter which I fortunately read before my makeup went on and it was so lovely just to hear from him at that point. We wished we had thought to do little films ourselves!

Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

We are happy to offer Brides Up North readers a discount of 10% on all of our packages. Just quotes BridesUpNorth10 when you book!

How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?

We have a fab website which James designed himself which has more info on including FAQ’s, examples of our work and a contact form, or you can email us at admin@2-little-ducks.com, call on 07817 664605, tweet @2DucksWeddings or visit our Facebook page.

Anything else we should know?

We are a very friendly bunch and never put people under pressure to book. We are passionate believers that every couple should have their wedding filmed as we know so many people who have regretted not doing it but if you get in touch we are happy to just give you the information you ask for and leave it up to you!

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winter opulence. ian stuart for a romantic wedding in the lake district – emma & andy

June 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (34)

When planning their wedding, today’s couple say they very much wanted the occasion to revolve around the most important things in their lives – family, friends and love.

Taking just one look at the images below, it’s clear to see that they achieved their aim perfectly, making the day both loving and personable.

We adore Emma’s classic Ian Stuart gown and her maids’ pretty sparkling dresses, all of which tie beautifully with the elegant décor and dreamy hotel setting.

Regardless of what the weather is doing outside today, this wonderful winter wedding is guaranteed to make you feel all warm inside.

With images by Steven Taylor Photography and video by Silver Sixpence Films.

Andy and Emma from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

emma says: Andy proposed to me at home. It was the 20th October 2012 and I was getting ready to go out on one of our ‘date nights’. As I walked into a candle-lit living room with champagne filled glasses out on the table, my heart started racing. Andy got down on knee and then went on to tell me why he wanted to marry me before popping the question. As you can imagine, I was a blubbering wreck by the end, and of course I blurted out ‘yes’!

We booked our wedding for Saturday 31st January as we both wanted a romantic winter wedding and we thought it was the perfect time of year to hold it. Funnily enough, it was only afterwards that we realised it was exactly four years to the day that we actually met. It was obviously fate and we were meant to book that date.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (16)

We held our wedding at the stunning Merewood Country House Hotel in the Lake District. We both love the lakes and have spent a lot of time there so it seemed only natural – being one of the most romantic places in England, we knew it was the place for us to get married. We chose the Merewood as we really wanted our family and friends to feel like they were coming to somewhere homely, rather than a hotel, which was helped with us having exclusivity of the venue. As soon as you walk in it has such a cosy and warm feel to it with the open fires greeting you in the reception. It’s grand but still intimate at the same time.

I asked my two best friends and my sister to be bridesmaids and my beautiful little niece and they were all just amazing. I also asked four of my closest friends to walk down the aisle in front of me as sadly my beloved Dad passed away from cancer in September 2012. It was lovely to have all my closest girlfriends there with me right before I walked down as they have all been a great support to me over the years and it was definitely the right choice as I felt secure in the fact that if I did have a wobble, they were there. Luckily I walked in and saw everyone’s beaming faces and then I caught my future husband’s eye and he just gave me a reassuring look that he wasn’t far away – I just took a deep breath and I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked towards him.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (18)

We didn’t have a theme as such, but there were parts of the day that hinted at our styles and influences. For example my late Granddad, my Dad’s father, was a film buff and the manager of a cinema when it was all on film. I just loved to watch all of the old movies with him so Andy and I did our wedding invites like an old Hollywood cinema ticket (which our guests tore off and then sent back as an rsvp).

There is something so romantic about a winter wedding, so for my colour scheme I wanted to keep it very simple, classic and beautiful with elegance to it. I just adore whites, creams, greys and soft colours together, and it was fabulous that all the bridal party coordinated their outfits around that palette too. I wanted it to look magical, with a touch of glamour and sparkle!

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (27)

The dress I chose was an Ian Stuart couture gown from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden, Yorkshire. I knew I had found the one, as it not only exuded glamour with an edge to it, but it was also timeless and feminine. I found inspiration from Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress that she wore when she married JFK in 1953. I just adored the neckline and I found something similar with my gown which gave it that Hollywood Glamour feel to it and I just fell in love instantly.

Andy wore a slim fit dark blue three-piece suit that he bought from Slaters in Leeds with a white shirt and a white tie and he also wore Kurt Geiger tanned brogues. He had tried on Paul Smith, Hugo Boss and viewed many other suits, but Slater’s had a huge variety and the fits were perfect – not to mention the price!

For my beautiful bridesmaids I chose dresses from a website called Virgos Lounge. I loved that they were a bit different and very glamorous and with it being winter the soft light grey and the iridescent leaf shaped embellishment on the dresses looked stunning.

The best man, usher and the father of the groom all wore suits also bought from Slaters in Leeds. We went for something slightly different from Andy’s suit, so we picked out a very similar one for the men but in a dark grey with light blue/grey spotted white ties, which really complemented all the girls’ dresses. The boys also all wore Kurt Geiger tanned brogues.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (28)

When it came to the wedding photos we sought advice from our wedding co-ordinator and chose a local award-winning photographer known very well by the venue. Steven Taylor was superb from our first meeting to the end of our wedding day. He listened to our thoughts and did the most amazing job on the day with his son Josh and after receiving the proofs back recently, we understand why they are award-winning – they captured the whole day perfectly. We also had Silver Sixpence Films to capture the day on video for us.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (40)

On the day I carried a beautiful, opulent massed posy bouquet of ivory roses, lisianthus and gypsophila bound with ivory satin ribbon. They were provided by Kevin from Brackens of Bowness.

With us deciding on a romantic ivory and cream wedding, we opted to have tall vases for the reception centrepieces, filled with acorns with tall willow branches and hanging glass tea-light holders. On the other tables we had round shallow glass bowls filled with acorns and twisted ivory willow with a cluster of candles in the centre. Down the staircase we had willow and foliage wound down the banister with fairy lights intertwined. Kevin from Brackens of Bowness again supplied these stunning arrangements. He was amazing and listened to everything that I wanted to achieve. With Kevin’s talent and creativity he helped make the venue look like the fairy-tale wedding I had always dreamed of.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (37)

We didn’t do favours at the wedding breakfast. Instead we had personalised chocolate bars created for our family and friends who were staying at the hotel and placed them in their rooms for their arrival.

We opted for a four-course wedding breakfast. It took us a little while to decide on the menu as all of the food is so delicious and it is also locally sourced. In the evening, we had mini fish and chips served in traditional newspaper cones. It was all absolutely delicious!

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (39)

We both enjoy music, so it featured heavily throughout the day. The thinking was to have very much beautiful and relaxing music, building as the day went on so we had a string quartet to entertain people before and after the ceremony. Andy recorded a live DJ mix for the wedding breakfast containing music from our favourite films interlaced with famous quotes from cinema.

To get the evening started, Andy had also prepared some warm up before a fantastic rock band called Blue Star Tattoo from West Yorkshire performed on the night with classics by AC/DC, ZZ Top and The Who, through to more current hits by The Killers, Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys. We chose this band as a nod to my Dad Geoff (and Andy’s Dad John) who both love rock and roll.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (46)

In the library we displayed family photos of our nearest and dearest to give a homely feel and also in remembrance to special people who could not be there with us that weekend. With candles lit and love quotes added around the fireplaces, it added to the romantic and relaxing ambience of the venue.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (48)

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (47)

We used Purple Swan for the hire of our chair covers, which were white with crystal vintage brooches on ivory lace sashes and bows. The company were fabulous and made everything so easy and stress free by dressing the room the night before and they were so professional. I bought the lanterns and candles from the shop The Range in Leeds to add a touch of romance down the aisle as well.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (49)

We would most definitely recommend our venue to others. Everything about it is fabulous, from the views to the food, and the first class service. The venue has so much character, it still has many of the original features, which include magnificent fireplaces and gorgeous stained glass windows. We felt at home as soon as we walked in. No matter how many times you visit, when it’s time to go home, you just don’t want to leave.

My favourite part of the day was sitting down to eat the amazing food at the wedding breakfast next to my new husband and looking around at all of our favourite people in the world, all sat together and there just for us was simply the best feeling in the whole world.

A romantic winter wedding in The Lake District (c) Steven Taylor Photography (58)

We are planning to go on honeymoon to Santorini this summer to catch some sun and some amazing scenery, and as Andy is obsessed with sunsets (apparently they have some of the best in the world), we couldn’t think of anywhere more romantic to go.

My top tip to other Brides Up North is to make sure you enjoy the lead up to your wedding day, enjoy being engaged. The day itself goes so fast, I know it sounds cliché but it does so take time out with your new groom/bride for a few moments during the day and evening as you are both in demand and so busy. It’s lovely to have a few moments now and again to both look around and think – ‘This is our wedding day, how amazing is this?’

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